The fuel price increase in SA is at an all-time high. The price of petrol and diesel keeps on rising in South Africa. Therefore we are always on the hunt to find ways of saving that precious fuel. Here are our tips for saving a lot of money and getting more kilometres for your rand.
Fuel Saving Tips
Most of the time one uses their car to travel to work and back or for work purposes (salesmen, Delivery vehicles) therefore you need to pack your vehicle as lightly as possible. A heavier car uses more fuel than a light car. When you accelerate from a robot your car has to work harder to move the heavier load.
Do not speed away from robots and stop the streets. Gently press the accelerator to get up to the speed limit.
Remove any carriers on the roof as this will create drag resistance and increase your fuel.
The obvious is to make sure the handbrake is all the way down and not slightly engaging the brakes as this will not only wear your brakes faster over time but increase drag.
Ensure you are in the correct gear for the road you are travelling on. Don’t keep the car in 3rd gear travelling at 60 km/h for example rather shift up a gear and go to 4th or even 5th gear.
If you are approaching a robot and you slow down and the robot changes before you get there then rather change down to 2nd than first. This will also save fuel.
The more electrical devices one uses in the vehicle for example seat heating, air conditioner, steering heating etc will increase fuel as the car is drawing more power from the engine to run the extra electrical equipment. It gets more technical than that but I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty here.
If you have to stop for longer than 15 seconds. I suggest you shut off the vehicle as this is wasting fuel while standing still. Going nowhere is costing you money.
Ensure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications as underinflated tyres will cause you to use more fuel as there is more drag.
Resist the urge to buy premium fuel unless your car requires it.
Drive the speed limit
When driving up a hill ensure you are in the correct gear. Don’t let the car labour (too high a gear eg 6th gear) and don’t let the engine race (you can hear the engine revs are high, too low a gear eg 2nd gear)
If your car has cruise control use it. If your car has not just anticipate the other drivers on the road and uphill and downhills. Drive smoothly without harsh braking and accelerating.
Avoid aggressive driving habits put on a cd with tranquil music. Rock bands will tend to give you a heavier foot to push onto the accelerator pedal.
Proper car maintenance increases fuel economy. Ensure you replace at least the following when having your vehicle serviced.
Oxygen Sensors (Checked)
Fuel injection systems
Ensure your wheels are aligned properly. Two wheels facing in slightly different directions fight each other and increase drag, therefore, affecting the fuel price increase.
If you have a 3-litre double cab and a small new car run around. Use the latter to go to work as the smaller car will be lighter on fuel and you can only travel as fast as the car in front of you travelling at the speed limit. (Remember no aggressive driving)
Try to avoid rush hour. Leave half an hour earlier or later. If this cannot be avoided remember to drive smoothly.
Close the windows and sunroof as this creates drag. Air rushes into the front window and cannot escape.
Change gear at 3000 rpm in most cars. This will save fuel don’t rev to 7000 rpm and then change gears
Make sure the fuel cap is on tight as the fuel evaporates.
Always fill the vehicle to the automatic stop. Extra fuel in the pipe evaporates and spills out when turning sharp bends fast.
Coast whenever you can if in an old car put the car in neutral as an engine revving at 900 rpm is better than an engine labouring at 1500 to 2000 rpm. New cars tend to cut off the fuel supply and only feed the car enough fuel to run the engine so you can keep the car in high gear when going downhill.
Keep your car windows closed to increase aerodynamics to avoid the fuel price increase.